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Posters for the French National Lottery

A hidden gag, a French turn of phrase, vibrant colour and quirky characters ... the playful posters for the French Loterie Nationale are amongst our favourites here at The Galerie. As an entire body of work, these designs reflect the best French poster artists and graphic works of an era.

The French Loterie Nationale was established in 1933, under a government initiative to provide funds to war invalids and veterans. The first draw was held on November 7 at the Trocadero in Paris, a grand event that attracted thousands of people. The jackpot, a huge sum of 5 million francs, was won by a hairdresser in from small town. Draws were held monthly until 1943, then weekly, with just brief interruptions in 1940 and 44 due to the war. In 1976 the name and administration was taken over by the Lotto.

A new poster was commissioned for every individual Loterie draw, a total of 10 large format posters and 40 smaller 40 x 60 cm 'affichettes' per year. Looking at the posters today, there's an extraordinary amount of work put into a poster with a life of just 7 days! Whilst each features a general theme of 'luck' and 'chance', the many artists commissioned by the company were given great flexibility in style, colour and expression.

Certain pieces to note are the beautiful Art Deco lines of Derouet and Lesacq in the 1930s, colourful (female!) Nicole Constant in the 1960s, and quirky Herve Morvan in the 1970s. 

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